Cocktail Kingdom Library


spirits, citrus, sugar, water, and often spices

The foundational mixed drink, emerging in British-occupied India in the 16th Century, and across the colonial world by 1660. Punch was eventually adapted to a single serving format, from which cocktails and other styles of mixed drinks eventually grew.

There are a vast number of different punch recipes. The one shown above is from Oxford Night Caps (1847) and was chosen as an example because it’s at least as good an example as any other. It’s undoubedly delicious. Note that it’s not an ice punch—there is no ice in the punch, though the Champagne was presumably chilled before use. Putting ice directly into a punch bowl seems to have been a mostly-American thing (from having abundant clean lake ice to work with). Also note the use of hard lump sugar that requires scraping and pounding. If you’re interested in making punches in the large format, we recommend you find a copy of Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, by David Wondrich (New York: Perigree, 2010).

Barware icons courtesy of Haus Alpenz